London, England – As all science-lovers and people who dream of chit-chatting with their Nespresso machine about Socrates know, the Turing Test was developed back in 1950 by smarty-pants mathematician Alan Turing as a way to test a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of humans.
And scientists in England made a breakthrough this week when 33% of judges at the Royal Society in London were fooled into thinking a computer was actually a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene Goostman based on text responses to their questions.
The results have been widely praised, though there are skeptics.
“Come on,” one Noble prize winner bitched to WereWatchers, “responses by a 13-year-old named Eugene would be waaaay more cynical, and usually finish with the words,’It’s just Gene.'”
Turing Test 2.0
But of more concern is that news outlets glossed over a related, and perhaps more significant, scientific breakthrough.
Few know that Turing actually developed another similar test, but this time to see if a werewolf in “full lycanthrope mode” could exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of non-lycans. Unlike v1.0 of the test, which sets the bar at 30%, Turing set the bar even lower, at only 10%.
We asked a scientist at the Royal Society of American Werewolves in London (RSAWL) to explain.
“Frankly, it may as well have been a test for any intelligent behavior at all, based on the idiotic wiseacre responses we alway get from werewolves when we do the test.”
Werewolves are often criticized for not being friendly to the scientific method, and this researcher was of that view. “We came to get excited if we got 5% of the judges to believe that the subject was human. And usually those were from hitting the wrong button.”
But that all changed after they got wind of the results from the test at the other Royal Society.
“It was a Eureka moment, certainly,” the scientist we interviewed told us. “If there is any type of human that a werewolf is remotely similar to in behavior, it’s, well, 13-year-old boys.”
“Still, we were all a little stunned by the results,” he continued. “We knew that the score would be high, but 98.2% of the judges mistaking the werewolf’s responses for those of a 13-year-old male non-lycan was shocking.”
He explained that the few dissenting judges had apparently gone to a rave in Shoreditch in East London the night before the test, and assessed the test subject as “likely a talking unicorn with manipulative tendencies.”
Though the results are very definitive, the jury is still out on what this really means for lycanthrope behavior. Will werewolves get the message that using their full moon time to t.p. block upon block of suburban homes is not time well spent? Time will tell.
“Though we are delighted by the results,” a press release from RSAWL announcing the breakthrough began, “there are those who have rightly pointed out that the behavior of a 13-year-old male human is not exactly what either a computer or a werewolf should aspire to. So next year, we are aiming much, much higher: 14-year-olds.”